August/September 2013


Walking through history

Sensors let us walk through museums safely

Aliyah Esmail

The Louvre, one of the largest museums in the world, is a grand sight to behold. Its front entrance, a glass pyramid built in the late 1980s, is imposing in its size and shine. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres. Around 9 million visits are made to the Louvre every year.

Importance of security

In April 2013 the Louvre had about 200 of its employees walk out in protest against the gangs of pickpockets that are out to rob the tourists who are going through the famous art museum.


To tighten security for tourists, staff and to keep the historic pieces of art in the building safe, the Louvre will be updating its already comprehensive security system. The new system will use fingerprint verification, keypad entry, magnetic card, barcode card, proximity card, contactless smart card and facial recognition.

Secure details

While visitors to the Louvre are aware of the personnel that guard the buildings and priceless artifacts, and they might see a camera occasionally as they stroll through the exhibits, most do not question how the security systems work or what they do.


Most security systems are based on sensors. These sensors are used to measure data, which they convert into signals that are communicated to a computer system. Most sensors are used to measure light, temperature, touch, sound, and position. Others are used to measure speed pressure or flow or are capable of recognizing images.


From lights with motion detectors to infra-red sensors, a whole range of devices and systems have been developed to help make the Louvre and the people in it safe.

Security through the IECQ Systems

For a security system to work without flaw, the electronic components need to be safe and made precisely. Sensors, connectors, resistors, capacitors, semiconductors, LEDs (light-emitting diodes), OLEDs (organic LEDs) and MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) are just some of the numerous components that are widely used. For them to work smoothly, they have to be faultless. One low-quality component can have disastrous effects.


Sensor manufacturers and suppliers all over the world have a powerful tool at their disposal, enabling their products to meet the strictest requirements: IECQ, IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, testing and certification.

About IECQ

As a worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ provides a certification system that enables manufacturers and suppliers to provide independent verification that the claimed specifications (including International IEC Standards) are met. This gives end manufacturers the reassurance of knowing that suppliers holding IECQ certification do not need stringent second party assessment or monitoring.


The plethora of electronic components and processes covered by IECQ are used in all kinds of technologies, from the smallest device to the most complex piece of equipment. IECQ’s contribution to a safer and more reliable world can only increase with the development of new technologies and state-of-the-art electronic devices. This can lead to better security in museums and, hopefully, fewer picked pockets of the tourists visiting them.


  • Museum security, when reality surpasses fiction
  • Even James Bond's Q would have trouble getting through the security in today's museums
  • IECQ certified components make security systems more reliable


IEC e-tech

Lighting & Laser

August/September 2013

[full edition]

IEC e-tech Aug/Sept 2013


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